Tuesday, June 25, 2019

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Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all
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Maurice Cunningham: When “Parent Groups” Are Funded by the Walton Billionaires

In my new book, Slaying Goliath, I focus on heroes of the Resistance. One of them is Professor Maurice Cunningham of the University of Massachusetts. He is a professor of politics and a blogger who believes in “follow the money.” His relentless pursuit of Dark Money in the Massachusetts charter referendum of 2016 (where voters overwhelmingly rejected charter expansion) led to the demise of the bi
Alfie Kohn: Why Can’t Everyone Get An A?

Alfie Kohn has written many books critical of competition and ranking in schools. This article appeared in the New York Times. For a generation now, school reform has meant top-down mandates for what students must be taught, enforced by high-stakes standardized tests and justified by macho rhetoric — “rigor,” “raising the bar,” “tougher standards.” Here’s a thought experiment. Suppose that next y
Chester E. Finn, Jr.: The Persistent Failure of Big Shiny Ideas to “Reinvent” Schools

Checker Finn and I used to be best buddies back in the days when I was on the other side (the wrong side) of big education issues. We became friends in the early 1980s. We created something called the Educational Excellence Network, which circulated a monthly newsletter on events and issues back in the pre-Internet days. I was a member of the board of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, which was c
Carol Burris: Federal Charter School Program is a Slush Fund

Back in March 2019, Carol Burris and Jeff Bryant released a study of the federal Charter Schools Program on behalf of the Network for Public Education.. That study, “Asleep at the Wheel,” found that about a third of the charters that received federal grants in the $440 million program either never opened or closed soon after opening. The amount of money wasted was about $1 billion over several ye


Ohio: State Plan to Make Consultants Great Again

‌ ‌ ‌ Jan Resseger’s digest of the Senator Lehner HB 70-on-steroids plan The Lehner Plan is really a district’s worst nightmare. It would have scores of cooks in the kitchen with no one to be held accountable. It would also be a cash cow for “consulting school improvement organizations.” William L. Phillis | Ohio Coalition for Equity & Adequacy of School Funding | 614.228.6540 | o hioeanda@sbcglo
Beto O’Rourke Adds High-Ranking Obama ED Official to His Campaign Staff

Beto O’Rourke has beefed up his campaign staff with the addition of Carmel Martin , who was Assistant Secretary for Budget and Policy in the Department of Education during the Obama administration. Martin is a supporter of high-stakes testing and charter schools. When my book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, was published, she joined me on a panel at the Economic Policy In
Peg Tyre: What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in Japan

Veteran journalist Peg Tyre is on a study mission to understand education in certain Asian nations. She has written several reports, some of which were posted here. She has written to tell me that she has enjoyed the feedback from readers of this blog, so keep those emails and reactions to her coming. A teacher in a primary school giving a healthy-living lesson Japanese Teachers Put In Longer Hou
Netroots Nation: Learn How Philadelphia Activists Regained Local Control of Their Schools

Jeff Bryant, a prolific writer about the Resistance to Faux Reform, will moderate a panel at Netroots Nation about how Philadelphia activists fought back and regained democracy. fought back and regained democracy. The session is called “What Philly Taught Us: How Philadelphia Activists Brat SchoolPrivatization to Restore Local Control.” Starts: Thursday, Jul. 11 2:30 PM Ends: Thursday, Jul. 11 3:
Peter Greene: The Writer Who Could Not Answer Standardized Test Questions About Her Poems

Peter Greene writes here about Sara Holbrook, a poet whose poems have been used on standardized tests. Back in 2017, Holbrook wrote an essay for Huffington Post entitled, “ I Can’t Answer These Texas Standardized Test Questions About My Own Poems. ” The writer had discovered that two of her poems were part of the Texas STAAR state assessment tests, and she was a bit startled to discover that she
EdSource: Why California Charter Schools Have Little or No Oversight

Louis Freedberg of EdSource explains here why California charter schools are largely unsupervised, leading to a drumbeat of scandals like the recent indictment of 11 people charged with a theft of $80 million. He writes: As charter 
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all